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Public Radio's 'Marketplace' Whitewashes Alinsky; 'Quite a Conservative Guy'

Tom Blumer's picture

American Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) says that its "Marketplace" program "focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets."

Okay. One would expect, given the track record of leftist and communist movements and causes in ruining economies and creating unspeakable human misery, that if "Marketplace" were to do a segment on, say, Saul Alinsky, that it might note his antagonism towards free-market capitalism, and how damaging his "Rules for Radicals" recommendations have been in practice. Instead, those listening to yesterday's Alinsky segment got nothing but pap and misdirection orchestrated by a far-left labor prof:

Why Saul Alinsky matters in the 2012 election

Kai Ryssdal ("Marketplace" host and senior editor): If you've been paying attention to the Republican nomination race, you might have been hearing the name Saul Alinsky a lot lately.

... So we figured it might be good to ask who Saul Alinsky was. Bob Bruno's a professor of labor at the University of Illinois. Welcome.

Bob Bruno: Good to be here.

Ryssdal: So who was Saul Alinsky? Who is, or was this guy?

Bruno: So Saul Alinsky was perhaps the modern founder of community organizing -- working with dispossessed, powerless groups of people very often minority populations, working class populations who needed to organize as a way to bring their voice within the political system. And he created and theorized a way to go about community organizing that spread across the country.

Ryssdal: It sounds to hear speaker Gingrich say it like Saul Alinsky wanted nothing less than armed rebellion and the overthrow of American life. Is that true?

Bruno: No, not even the overthrow of life in Chicago. He actually was quite a pragmatic, quite a conservative guy. He understood being very strategic, very tactful. He understood that at the end of the day all groups had to reach a deal. The idea behind it -- was motivating Alinsky -- was to create a people's organization that could represent average people at the bargaining table. So he really was about compromise but he realized that at the grassroots, people would have to organize to do that.

Ryssdal: So, factoring in political hyperbole, how much sense does it make for Mr. Gingrich to be bringing this up in discussing President Obama and his past as a community organizer? I mean, that's where it's all coming from.

Bruno: Well, it make no sense at all if you're trying to accurately shed some light on the character and the motivating principles on the current president. The president spent a little bit of time doing community organizing but nobody would say that he was a Saul Alinsky. Although Alinsky -- along with many others people -- would have perhaps helped to shape his principles of governance. But if Gingrich is all about trying to rally a politically conservative base to some how tinge the president with some sort of radical ideology, than throwing out into the public domain makes some political sense.

Alinsky was really a conservative. Who knew? Certainly not Alinsky.

I guess you could say he was a Bible-thumper, but in quite a weird way. After all, he admired "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer." As to whether Alinsky was aligned with the bedrock conservative principle that individuals and families should be left to make their own decisions about their lives, he wasn't: "The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself."

One could go on forever making mincemeat of the "Marketplace" segment's claims that the Obama administration isn't dominated by Alinsky's beliefs. I'll supply just one small example, which in its own way is as telling as many far more damaging things this administration has done.

In "Rules For Radicals," as quoted here, Alinsky betrayed the fact that he considered half of the American labor movement insufficiently radical, disdainfully characterizing the American Federation of Labor half of what is now the AFL-CIO as "conservative and archaic" because it "clung to craft unionism." The fact is that the AFL's founder, Samuel Gompers, "improved the lives of millions of working men and women ... (and) rightly deserves to be called the greatest friend labor has ever known."

Consistent with Alinsky's contempt for Gompers, the Obama administration's Department of Labor had a paragraph complimentary to the AFL's founder which had been present for at least eight years scrubbed from its web site's "History of Labor Day" page.

But according to Prof. Bob Bruno, "it make no sense at all" to view Barack Obama and his peeps through an Alinskyite lens. What a load of rubbish.

Bruno's faculty page at the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) at the University of Illinois carries this quote: "I became a professor because I believe that it is the best way for me to act on behalf of working-class men and women. LER has a long standing and significant commitment to labor studies and the institutions that support collective bargaining." Here are some of the philosophical giveaway titles at his curriculum vitae:

  • A published conference proceeding entitled “Teaching Workers from the Left: Working Class Struggle and the Politics of Power”
  • A book chapter called “Divining Class: How Reducing Distance, Re-defining Authority and Disrupting Myths Can Build Class Consciousness”
  • A journal article, “Lean Production and the Discourse of Dissent: Radicalizing the Shopfloor at Mitsubishi Motors?”

Bruno's CV also shows that he is into the green jobs scam. Among other things, he "organized and chaired a panel session on 'Labor and Green Economic Development' at the Second Annual Green Jobs Summit, March 27, 2009, Kennedy-King College, Chicago, Illinois."

The suspicion here is that the naive folks at "Marketplace" started out thinking that they could do a substantive piece on Alinsky and spin him favorably, but found out upon reviewing his written record that it couldn't be done. One clue supporting my theory is that the window title at the segment's web page is "A Look Into the Life of Saul Alinsky," which is more than a little odd since since the report didn't look at the details of his life at all. Apparently whoever committed to compiling the segment initially then had to scramble to come up with something to fill the time -- so they filled the time with what was a falsehood-based waste of time.

Cross-posted at


#1 If my memory serves me well,

If my memory serves me well, I'm pretty sure that Boy Barry was bragging about being a 'community organizer', and was quite defensive of it. In fact, he said that he learned a lot more about 'the real world' by being a community organizer than he might have learned by being some employee or typical working guy - which we know he never was.

And if that great conservative Saul Alinksy was such a proponent of 'compromise' - it appears that Boy Barry didn't get that part of the book, because he is dead set in what he believes in and wants to do, and I don't think that 'compromise' is in his agenda, unless someone is giving up their own princeples to compromise with him..................and even if they don't do that, he's just going to do what he wants to anyway.

I'm looking for more astonishing and mind-boggling BS to be spouting out of his purple lips tonight............although I'm going to have to read it somewhere, because I can't stand to watch or listen to this steamy pile of Kenyan Kow Krap.

#2 I noticed that too.

"The president spent a little bit of time doing community organizing" 

I, too, seem to recall that Bambi gained such VAST experience as a communist organizer that it made up for any lack of experience that people might think he suffered from. Well, at least that was what the MSM sold as their contribution to the load of horse Shiite they put together on Da One.

Yeah, buddy, those commies are big on "compromise." Their definition of the word is do what we want or we will kill you.

Rules for Radicals is about as "peace loving" as the Koran. Maybe that's why they are confused.

Comrade Bubba

#3 I also am not going to listen

I also am not going to listen to this jacka## tonight. Here's what I want to hear:

  1. I apologize for the destruction of this country. And,
  2. I hereby resign, effective midnight.

But, here's what we're going to hear:

  1. (Class warfare): Republicans need to be fair. Because we all deserve an equal outcome. Only Gov can provide that.
  2. (Blame): Everything is Bush's fault.
  3. (Lies): My number 1 focus is jobs. We've created millions of them (can't you tell?) But Republicans are killing them faster than we can create them.
  4. (and more Lies): We're on our way to energy independence. We've killed off car companies to keep the driving down. We've killed all drilling and pipelines to protect the earth. And our solar company loans are just now providing dividends.

Know what I'd pay to hear? Newt giving the Republican response.

Didn't win the Medal of Honor? Didn't even serve? Then lie about it. We'll support you." — 9th Circuit Court

#4 It doesn't matter.

None of this stuff matters because nothing good will come from anything in DC at all.  The Congress is spineless and won't do ANYTHING, despite the fact, and yes, it is a fact, several facts, that Soetoro has violated the Constitution REPEATEDLY.

So he can say all the nonsense he wants to, and I expect Mitch Daniels' response to be lackluster at best, and people are either going to be wiser or (if possible) even dumber than before.

In the meantime, I eagerly look forward to more rising costs of living(see here for more details).  Eagerly, I tell you!  I can't wait to live without my means(for those of you in Rio Linda, that's the opposite of "living within your means" which means don't spend money you don't have).  In the meantime, I'm anxious to trade in my perfectly working truck for a battery operated vehicle that plugs into my apartment, and watch with absolute glee as my electricity bills go up quadruple or more(again, for those of you in Rio Linda, that means go up 4 times or more).  Ugh.....sarcasm mode off.


#5 What we're going to hear

>Because we all deserve an equal outcome.<

Well, we're all going to die eventually. That's equal outcome. What we do between birth and death is what makes the difference. "o"boy wants us to 'enjoy' the lowest common denominator, rather than shame the underachievers in society by dint of effort and intelligence.

>Everything is Bush's fault.<

When does the President finally assume responsibility for the incredible crap sandwich that he's shoved down our throats for the last three (five if you count his sojourn in the Senate) years?

>My number 1 focus is jobs. We've created millions of them<

Jobs in China and India don't count here in the U.S.

>We're on our way to energy independence. We've killed off car companies to keep the driving down. We've killed all drilling and pipelines to protect the earth. And our solar company loans are just now providing dividends.<

In other words, the machinery that he's built to destroy the national economy is nearly complete.

#6 Exhibit A

on why NPR shoud not be funded with my money. If I want to be brainwashed with lies I'll go read the Communist Manifesto myself; I don't need State Media to feed me horseshi$$.

Didn't win the Medal of Honor? Didn't even serve? Then lie about it. We'll support you." — 9th Circuit Court

#7 Just another reason why the brass at PBS...

...are quaking in their Birkenstocks. As self-delusional as they may be, they can still read the writing on the wall.

#8 Herr Goebbels

would be envious of NPR and the LSM.

President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#9 It only proves to what lengths the liberal looney left media...

... will go to protect the Big "Owe"-beyme.

Alinski was a self-avowed Marxist who dedicated his book "Rules for Radicals" to Lucifer. I could go on about Alinsky, but I think you get the point. For this media clown to comment that this is rather a conservative guy only goes to display just how far over the cliff this joker really is.

For the media to go so far as to whitewash this radical marxist, you got to wonder to whome they would draw the line (if they even have a line). Bill Ayers? Check... Van Jones? Check...

I can't help the feeling that if it fit their narrative and promoted their agenda, they wouldn't give a second thought to at least make the attempt to whitewash the likes of Joseph Goebels, for example.

Absolutely incredible! When will the useful idiot leftoids open their eyes and see the evil they are perpetrating onto your republic?

#10 That's so last decade!

"Why Saul Alinsky matters in the 2012 election."

So, he matters in 2012 because, what, he's dead and Obama needs his vote? The guy's dead, he can no more affect the election than Lincoln can! Yes, he may be useful as rhetoric, pro or con depending on who's using that rhetoric, but that's as far as it can ever go. Why do you feel the need to hype the importance of a dead man? Is Obbama's campaign as dead as Saul?

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. The US Constitution

Unless you're a fetus. The US Supreme Court

Or Anwar al-Awlaki.

#11 Alinksy Obama and Samuel Gompers

I am a conservative. That does not mean that I lump all labor leaders together. Samuel Gompers, unlike Saul Alinsky and his protégé Barak Obama, was not a radical. If the words of Gompers have been scrubbed from a government web site it can only mean that Obama as Eugene Genovese says is more of a leftist communist than his conservative critics realize.

For those who would like to know why Alinsky opposed Gompers here is why. Gompers said,

“I want to tell you socialists that I have studied your philosophy…I have heard your orators…I have kept close watch upon your doctrines for 30 years and know how you think and what you propose. I know too what you have up your sleeve. Economically you are unsound; socially, you are wrong, industrially you are an impossibility.”

I am happy to report that a U.S. Destroyer tender was named the USS Samuel Gompers.

Steve Cakouros

Steve Cakouros

#12 Yep

If the words of Gompers have been scrubbed from a government web site it can only mean that Obama as Eugene Genovese says is more of a leftist communist than his conservative critics realize.

Indeed. "Little" actions like that are very revealing.

#13 Right, and Stalin would have been a John Bircher fer sure


Vote for the American in November

#14 Obama's Class Warfare--Mission Accomplished?

Obama's Class Warfare--Mission Accomplished?

Anyone who has closely or even cursorily followed the actions, declarations, and proposals of candidate Barack Hussein Obama and the enacted socio-economic policies of the Obama presidency has to be aware that he represents the greatest threat to domestic and international tranquility in the history of the United States.

Obama’s slip-of-the-lip to Joe the Plumber in 2008 that his intent was to “share the wealth” should have alerted Americans to his radical Marxist inclinations, but it didn’t.

His repeated statements pitting rich against the poor, the haves against those who haven’t, should have informed the electorate that he was launching class warfare, but they didn’t.

His Justice Department’s black racist decisions and his demeaning of white Americans should have shown he was fostering racial antagonisms and pitting race against race, but they didn’t.

His foisting of Obamacare on the American people, a socialistic scheme designed to kill off the sick and elderly patterned on Britain’s failed NHS, should have proven he was far more committed to his legacy than to the well-being of Americans, but it didn’t.

His enthusiastic support for the revolutionist Occupy movement intent on subverting the capitalist system that has made America great should have been a giveaway that Obama wasn’t a real American, but it didn’t.

None of that evidence was sufficient to convince Obama idolators who still mindlessly subscribed to their illusion of Barack was their dream rather than what he is, a nightmare and a fraud.

The president’s designated apologist, Press Secretary Jay Carney, was hit with an easy question at his Monday press briefing, a simple query as to whether a picture of Saul Alinsky hangs in the White House. The reporter was motivated to ask since Newt Gingrich has reasonably claimed Obama’s vision comes from the man who coined the term, “community organizer,” Saul David Alinsky.

Amid titters, Carney scoffed, waffled, defended his boss’s background as a Chicago “community organizer,” and replied without answering the qustion, ”I’ll just leave it at that.”

See Carney dance around Saul Alinsky here

I doubt there’s a framed portrait of Alinsky in the executive mansion. There would be no need since Alinsky extremist socialism is firmly embedded in this president’s psyche and philosophy so who needs a picture?

Alinsky never became a registered Communist. He was so full of chutzpa that he refused to be bound by Communism’s “doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated” rigidity. Instead, he blazed his own trail of doctrinaire, humorless, intellectually constipated independence that served to supplement Communism’s and which, if anything, was more radical.

He virtually invented the job of community organizer, a euphemism for a rabble-rouser engaged in stirring social discontent and societal revolution and developed that profession on the streets of Chicago, the same streets on which his disciple Obama later practiced Alinskyite tactics.

As Linn and Ari Armstrong noted, “Beneath his [Alinsky's] platitudes about democracy and the ‘importance and worth in the individual,’ Alinsky reveals his core goal: to ‘use power for a more equitable distribution of the means of life for all people.’ “

Sound familiar? It should because Obama said much the same thing when he told Joe the Plumber that his aim was to “spread the wealth around” through political force.

In another relevant observation, . . . (

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